Berlin: Charité Hospital History Walking Tour

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Explore the fascinating history of Charité, Berlin's oldest hospital. Visit its beautiful red-brick campus and the Veterinary Anatomy Theater, Berlin's oldest surviving academic building.


  • Marvel at the beautiful neo-gothic architecture of the Charité campus
  • Get to know some of the biggest names in medical history
  • Explore the history of Charité during the Nazi and socialist regimes
  • Join us on a journey back to the 18th century at the Veterinary Anatomy Theatre
  • Discover the real-life stories behind the Charité TV series


Although its beautiful red-brick campus feels like a refuge of its own, the Charité was never immune to the shifting political landscape of the capital. The hospital became a political instrument of the Nazis and East Germany alike. As Berlin’s oldest hospital, its history spans the many promises and betrayals of medical science. Doctors struggled to understand and treat disease but also became the executioners of a hateful ideology. This walking tour dissects 300 years of success, failure and everything in between. The tour begins with the hospital's humble beginnings as a plague house in 1710 when the plague was approaching Berlin. In the early days of the hospital, methods such as bloodletting, doses of mercury and amputations were common in treating the sick. A visit to the Veterinary Theatre, the oldest academic building still in existence in Berlin, provides fascinating insight into how the ailments of the city’s livestock and cavalry horses were explored in the 18th century. The tour continues around the historical neo-gothic campus of the Charité, where the Nobel Prize-winning microbiologist Robert Koch discovered the cause of tuberculosis. But Charité was not only a 19th-century hotspot for scientific research. Reflecting the shifting social relations, it became a campus where aspiring women could advance their medical careers as well. When the Kingdom of Prussia finally allowed women to study medicine, Rahel Hirsch became the first professor in medicine at the Charité Medical School. The hospital also witnessed a dark chapter under the Nazi regime. Medical ethics were disregarded and ideas of racial hygiene were ruthlessly imposed. While some doctors kept quiet, others actively organised the extermination of psychiatric patients. In subsequent decades, East Germany prided itself on the achievements of the Charité, while also bricking up those windows that faced the capitalist West. This tour finishes close to the Central Station, making it the perfect place to continue exploring Berlin.


Guide Entry to the Tieranatomisches Theater

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